Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the investment of $25.4 million in loan funding for a public/private partnership project covering seven counties in northcentral and northwestern Pennsylvania that will serve to preserve, protect and improve water quality while supporting core economic opportunities with the commonwealth’s important lumber industry.
The loan funding was approved by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) Board of Directors.
“This is an example of how government and private sector interests can intersect to protect the environment, and improve water quality as we help preserve important segments of our forested areas all the while creating jobs and economic opportunities as they are managed for future generations,” said Governor Wolf.
“The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry has been working closely with PENNVEST, the Department of Environmental Protection, local officials and industry leaders to help pull together this important project that will provide working conservation easements to allow sustainable forestry, protect high quality streams, and mitigate acid mine drainage,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adam Dunn.
Dunn noted that a conservation easement limits certain uses or prevents subdivision and fragmentation from taking place on the land, which still remains in private hands to continue to provide economic benefits in the form of jobs and property taxes.
The funding for this project comes from a combination of state funds approved by voters, federal grants to PENNVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards. Funds for the projects are disbursed after bills for work have been paid and receipts submitted to PENNVEST.
For more information, visit www.pennvest.pa.gov or call 717-783-6798.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brion Johnson, 717-783-6798
Non-point Source Water Quality Improvement Project:
Cameron, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Venango Counties
** Lyme Timber Company LP received a $25,450,115 loan to support the purchase of 23 large tracts of privately owned forest land, placing over 9,362 acres into working forest conservation easement, and an acid mine drainage restoration project within the Sterling Run property. This project is expected to create over 50 new forestry jobs over the next several years and leverage over $91,000,000 in private investment.
* denotes projects that have Drinking Water State Revolving Funds
** denotes projects that are funded with Clean Water State Revolving Funds